Looks like it isn’t just HIV positive New Yorkers whose parade Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz, Sr. is intent on raining upon.
When it came out last Friday that Diaz Sr. would be holding an anti-gay marriage rally on May 15, gay rights activists were furious because it coincides with the annual AIDS Walk. Mounting a counter demonstration will be rather difficult for them during the biggest fundraiser of the year for HIV/AIDS.
But it wasn’t just them Diaz, Sr. turns out to be dissing – he’s also squashing his own son.
May 15 falls on the Sunday during Bronx Week, a weeklong celebration of the borough, and a major event for Sen. Rev. Diaz’s namesake, Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.
When asked if the Beep would go to his father’s march, a spokesman for Diaz Jr. wrote to us in an e-mail that “The borough president will not be attending this protest.” He also wrote that “As for the AIDS Walk, the borough president will not be attending that event, either. May 15 is part of our annual Bronx Week celebrations, and the borough president will be attending a number of events related to Bronx Week that day.”
It’s worth noting that Diaz, Jr. is not the anti-gay demagogue that his father is. He’s been highly supportive of the Bronx Pride Center as well as the Bronx Knows campaign, a borough-wide initiative to get every adult tested for HIV.
The last time Sr. had an anti-gay marriage rally, it drew thousands of people, many on buses from out of town churches. The prospect of a repeat, traffic snarling episode during the multi-venue Bronx Week festivities is probably not relished by Jr. We can only imagine what conversation was like at Easter Dinner between the two men, a couple days after dad announced when and where he was going after the gays.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 25, 2011